Gender pay gap: Female Islington Council workers earn higher median wage than males – but BAME staff earn less on average than white colleagues

Islington Town Hall.Picture:Ken Mears

Islington Town Hall.Picture:Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Islington Council pays women an 8% higher median hourly wage than men – but Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers earn less on average than their white colleagues.

Data taken from Islington Council’s payroll in March 2019 shows the mean hourly rate of pay for its female employees is £19.42 – 3.6% higher than the their male counterparts’ average of £18.74 per hour.

The council employed 4,608 people as of March 31, comprised of 52% females and 48% males. And there is a higher proportion of women in the middle and higher wage brackets compared to men, who account for the bulk of the lowest paid workers.

In the same data published last year from the March 2018 payroll, the mean gender pay gap was 4.9% in favour of women, and the median hourly pay gap was 11% in favour of women. So both have reduced slightly in favour of men.

Co-leader of the Women’s Equality Party’s Islington branch Guilene Marco said: “The gender pay gap is a very blunt tool and it’s very difficult to understand what’s happening in the different groups you’re looking at.

“It’s a good starting point but the more detail and accurate data we have the have, the better we will be able to support everyone.

“There’s a higher proportion of women in the upper quarter [of earners] in Islington Council, which is a good story and something we should celebrate. The BAME pay gap is not good enough.

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“No one is asking you to report on the gender BAME [or disability or LGBTQ+] gap, and these intersections are actually very important.

“This is something we have been campaigning on and calling for the government to make it a legal obligation. The council doesn’t have any obligation to do it but they could do it themselves from next year and publish the information the find.”

The council’s median hourly wage skews 7.39% in favour of White employees compared to their Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) counterparts.

Just 29% of BAME employees are in the top quarter of earners, compared to 79% of white workers.

The mean hourly rate of pay for employees from white ethnic groups is £20.19, and this is 11.1% higher than the mean hourly rate of their BAME counterparts, which is £17.94 per hour.

Only 2,184 of employes shared their disability status with the council. And, of these, 18% have a disability,

About 35% of disabled employees are in top two salary brackets.

The figures are published in audit committee report, which states: “We are proud that our overall mean and median figures for gender show a positive picture, and that these reflect high levels of female representation in middle and senior management. [...]

“In contrast to gender, our pay gaps for BAME staff are larger and not where we want them to be. We have carried out very detailed analysis and have a much better picture of where we need to target our actions. [...] The career progression of underrepresented groups of staff is one of our corporate equalities objectives.”